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'I'll be king, but also human': Willem-Alexander and wife Maxima on the Dutch inauguration

18 APRIL 2013

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Princess Maxima have given an exclusive TV interview to discuss the upcoming royal inauguration.

The couple will become king and queen when current monarch Beatrix, who has been on the throne for 33 years, abdicates on 30 April. Her decision was announced in January and marks the beginning of a new era for the Dutch royal family.

Despite the momentous occasion, the incoming king and his queen were relaxed, happy and laid back during their chat with Dutch journalists Marielle Tweebeeke and Rick Nieman.

 

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"People can address me any way they see fit," Willem-Alexander began, establishing a humble tone. "I'm not obsessed with protocol. I will be king, but also a human being."   

He continued, "I want to be a king who accepts tradition, who follows the line of conduct of his predecessors, and represents consistency and stability in his nation. But at the same time, I want to be a 21st century king, someone who inspires and accurately represents Dutch society."  

The heir to the throne also revealed he won't be referred to as King Willem IV of The Netherlands because he doesn't want to be just "a number".

His wife Maxima was in agreement. "People in the street call me Maxima. At the end of the day, it's not that important to be called princess or queen. The important thing is the title we represent."

The Argentinian royal also revealed she is putting the couple's young daughters – Amalia, nine, Alexia, seven, and Ariane, who is five – through their paces in pre-ceremony rehearsals.

Maxima said it was important her daughters "know what to do at all times" adding, "It's not very complicated, but they have to do well."

 

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Amalia will be styled the Princess of Orange on 30 April, but her father insists there will be no special treatment. "Our daughters are our daughters and we love them all equally," the prince said. "There isn't the slightest difference.

"Amalia's title will be made formal when she's eighteen and she enters the State Council. Until then, we will protect her as much as possible.

"That means she won't participate in official engagements, or as little as possible. Her environment right now should only include her parents, her sisters, and her friends."

The interview hit a sad note when the couple discussed Prince Johan Friso. Willem-Alexander's brother has been in a coma since he was buried under an avalanche in the Austrian Alps last winter.

Maxima fought back tears as Willem-Alexander discussed his sibling's condition, which he described as "a great tragedy".

"For over a year, we've been living with this terrible situation during which my mother and [Prince Friso's wife] Mabel have been doing everything humanly possible to be by my brother's side.

"Every day, they are waiting for him. For my part, all I can do is support them – and make sure I do my best on 30 April."

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